Despite appalling video evidence, officials say the brutal pummeling of a young pro-Trump boy does not meet the criteria for a hate crime.
The savage beating spread like wildfire earlier this week as conservatives and even liberals were shocked by the ferocity of it. The clip can be seen here.
While the mother claims the brutality was over her son’s support of President Donald Trump, officials have only given those behind the attack a virtual slap on the wrist with misdemeanor charges.
“An investigation has been conducted,” the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook, “and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has filed charges on five juveniles for First Degree misdemeanor battery.
“We discussed charges with the State Attorney’s Office and they stated that this incident does not meet criteria for a hate crime.”
While officials say the brutality does not constitute a hate crime, the victim’s mother alleges the shocking violence all stems from her son’s choice to wear a pro-Trump hat.
“He wore it to School,” the mother previously wrote of her son’s hat, “but due to immediate bullying he put it away & didn’t wear it to school again, sadly the damage was already done & was now a target.
“From that point on he was steadily getting messed with. He was getting hit, tripped & verbally abused on the bus, but it all came to a head yesterday on his bus ride home.”
Hamilton County School District Superintendent Rex Mitchell released a statement on the attack Friday, seemingly dismissing it as an “altercation between students,” instead of labeling it what it appeared to be on the video — a group ganging up on a single boy at the back of a school bus.
According to Mitchell, the school district’s investigation found no evidence that the boy’s pro-Trump hat caused the ruthless attack.
“The incident began with a verbal altercation between two students that escalated when additional students became involved,” Mitchell wrote.
“In addition to the video that was posted online which was recorded by a student, the school district reviewed the bus video which depicted, not only the altercation, but all events prior to the altercation and its conclusion.”
According to officials and other sources, this story is more than just the viral video posted to Twitter earlier this week.
School officials may have had access to other videos, like one posted on Facebook that appears to show the victim standing on a bus seat and striking other kids.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
Since the video seems to begin halfway through the fight, there’s no way to tell how the conflict started or what it was over. The date of the new video is unclear, making it hard to determine when it happened in relation to the original clip.
The victim’s mother says that her son was simply defending himself in the newfound video, and the short clip doesn’t tell the whole story.
Nevertheless, authorities are convinced that no hate crime occurred.
Officials’ accounts contradict what the mother said happened, but without access to the investigation or the full video, there’s no way for the public to tell what really happened.
According to a GoFundMe set up to provide the victim with school supplies, parents of the young boy are now considering homeschooling him after the violent incident.
“We are looking for a private school,” the GoFundMe author writes, “but I’m not having much luck as everything is so far away. I have come to the realization that we are going to have to move out of this county or home school.”
While the facts in this case are still muddy, it looks like those behind the attack will at least be held responsible for their brutal physical attack.
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